Here comes the sun

July 18 2005


Here comes the sun

July 18 2005


Here comes the sun

As a young cancer widow, I was drawn to your June 27 cover story “Cancer be damned, kids wanna tan.” The more I read, the more upset I became. It’s so sad to read the casual comments about death by the twentysomethings in your article. Believe me, there are many more pleasant ways to go than dying from melanoma. If these young people had to watch a strong, vibrant 32-yearold husband and father whither away to a shell of a man and endure great pain and suffering, they wouldn’t be so dismissive of the threat of skin cancer. It’s a reality and, more, it’s one form of cancer people actually have control over. It’s amazing how losing my husband to melanoma has changed my view of tanned skin. Now it looks ugly to me. And now when I hear young people talking about tanning, I just want to shake some sense into them.

‘Why is it when you write about the effects of the sun, your pages must be filled with pictures of women in bikinis? As if that adds to your story.’ -Brad wassink, Dorchester,ont

Valerie Angus, Nepean, Ont.

I have to admit that I do get a suntan occasionally but always with at least an SPF 15 sunscreen. I also tan easily and tend not to burn. A bit of sun once in awhile keeps the skin looking healthy. Everything, in moderation, I say.

Kate Mattocks, Halifax

I am writing to commend you on a wonderful cover. In this gloomy old world full of depressing things like wars, torture, lying politicians and environmental degradation, it was so nice to see a picture of a pretty young woman in a bathing suit (and sunscreen!) on the cover of Canada’s Weekly Newsmagazine. It really cheered me up! Mark Marshall, Toronto

Not only is it hard to take your cover model, Polly Shannon, seriously, it is even more difficult to take Maclean’s seriously when the weak excuse for her pose is disguised as a tie-in to your tanning cover story. I sincerely hope that Shannon succeeds in Hollywood. Then she may be able to afford some clothes, and perhaps a square meal.

Lorraine Williams, Kitchener, Ont.

The West rides high

I am writing about your June 13 cover story on the oil sands (“Alberta is about to get wildly rich and powerful. What will happen to Canada?”). I think that the rest of Canada is about to get the awakening of a lifetime. Alberta’s oil is Alberta’s oil! We are the ones who manage it properly. We are the ones who will take full benefit from it. Do not kid yourselves, my ideas are shared by many, many Albertans. Alberta will prosper, be free and move forward while the country of Canada will sink further and further into the recesses of socialism. God bless Alberta’s future.

Cory Ebeling, Edmonton

I believe Alberta should use its financial potential to the fullest extent by exerting the maximum political, economic and political leverage on Ottawa even if that means Canada could fracture into two or three separate sovereign entities as a result of Ottawa’s blatant stupidity and arrogance. Any attempt to initiate any replay of the NEP fiasco will pretty much guarantee the secession of Alberta from Confederation, together with B.C., because my province has access to potential major gas and oil reserves should the provincial government wish to deal with the energy issue without any further interference


from both Ottawa and the Aboriginal land claims consortium. Furthermore, the Conservative party has to accept that its power base is here in the West and it has to protect the political and economic integrity of the West against the other provinces.

Bob Tarplett, West Vancouver, B.C.

Stephen who?

I am tired of hearing that Canadians don’t know Stephen Harper (“The Harper enigma,” The Maclean’s Excerpt, June 27). Put simply, is there any opposition leader who is known to the Canadian public? When Paul Martin goes to visit schoolchildren spewing about the benefits of a national day care program, it makes front-page news. Both Harper and NDP Leader Jack Layton attend similar events, yet there is hardly a beep in the papers. Stephen Harper is a great guy and perhaps it is time, if reporters are so anxious to get to know him, that they spend as much time covering him as they do Martin.

L. G. Anderson, Spruce Grove, Alta.

Many Conservatives should join Harper when he attends charm school, especially those who belonged to the Alliance party— they remind me of a pack of coyotes trailing a caribou, waiting for the kill.

John Macfarlane, Wolfville, N.S.

I think it is entirely possible that the author you excerpted, William Johnson, and many other writers, have it wrong about Harper and the reason for his difficulty in wooing Canadians. I believe it’s not the messenger, or a messaging problem; it’s the message. I voted Liberal last election and I will admit flat out that I think Harper is a good guy. He is intelligent, articulate and, from everything I can tell, a man who stands by his convictions. I simply don’t want to buy what he is selling. What the Conservative party needs to understand is that the Liberals have the numbers they do, in spite of the Gomery inquiry, because most Canadians would rather have a few bad apples in a bushel heading in the direction they want, than a whole bushel of great apples heading in a direction they don’t.

Jeff Budau, Port Elgin, Ont.

William Johnson thinks Stephen Harper has been consistently right on the big issues.

Trudeau’s marriage. In the June 20 issue, there’s a story (“Not what they seem,” Retailing) on knock-off jewellery and handbags, plus a puzzling three pages of gossip about some Toronto high-society lady (“Tarnished crown?”). To be fair, your coverage on the Supreme Court of Canada’s striking down of Quebec’s ban on private insurance for health services that are covered by the provincial plan, and the ramifications of that action (“Breaking the taboo”), was interesting, and the Over to You column by Michael Snider on fatherhood (“She calls me ‘Dadadada’ ”) was a delight. But we need more pages on world events. Penny Trelford, Victoria

The penny has dropped: your articles trashing Dr. Nancy Oliveri and Camilla ParkerBowles; the fluffy photo spread on Justin Trudeau’s wedding; and that ludicrous article on some Toronto ex-socialite is your new publisher/editor trying to pep up the magazine to increase circulation. Think again! If you continue to dumb down Maclean’s, you will lose your old base—those of us who were entertained and informed by you and who looked forward to every issue and consumed them from cover to cover. No longer will well-read copies litter my kitchen table or office waiting room. Topics covered in Maclean’s will no longer be the subject of discussion at the cafeteria or dinner table or at cocktail parties. And I will miss that.

Byrna Levitin, Toronto

One pill makes you larger...

While I found your cover story “Are you ready for your mental makeover?” (June 20) interesting, I was disheartened (can I get a pill for that?) to not find a single reference to the environmental impact of so much pill-popping. All of these modern drugs pass through us into sewage treatment and then into our water systems. Who knows what the effect of concentrations of Viagra mixed with Ritalin will be on fish and other

Well, Canadians who remember Harper’s prowar stance on Iraq would beg to differ. If he’d been prime minister, our young people would be over there being slaughtered alongside their American counterparts in a quagmire initiated by false information. As for his insistence this spring that we must have an election, it shows how out of touch with the public he is. Worse yet, when his own fans think he lacks humanity, is it any wonder that ordinary Canadians are terrified of him? Dave Ruch, Oshawa, Ont.

Madly off in all directions

What is happening to Maclean’s? You are going off in all directions. First, you pounded us with millions of words on the Gomery inquiry. It gave me a headache. Then you went in the opposite direction, giving us seven pages on Justin

Alberta will prosper, be free and move forward while Canada will sink further into the recesses of socialism


species or, ultimately, on us again. We are pissing a pretty potent drug mixture into the environment as it is. How moral is it to add to the problem by taking a pill just so we can be smarter, or to dull the memory of a painful divorce?

Thomas Brawn, Ottawa

Medicine, no matter how subtle, is the biggest business around. We are drugged, radiated and cut with scalpels from womb to tomb.

Ansbert Barrie, Kelowna, B.C.

Having become more or less accustomed to our mechanical world, I am not surprised that science and technology are turning their attention to mutating people into robots. Don’t think a bad thought, experience a painful feeling or examine any emotion. Just pop a pill and forget about the future. Jean Crawley, Toronto

Nowhere in your article did I see a reference to how addictive Paxil is. I just spent four weeks of hell withdrawing from it. I now have more sympathy for people who have to check into rehab. If a doctor recommends Paxil, say no and run away as fast as you can.

Barbara Gaynor, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Kudos for Barbara Amief

Thank you so much for the excellent article “In the grip of predators” (Society, June 13) by Barbara Amiel. It was far and away the most intelligent, balanced, fair and nonjudgmental piece of writing that I have seen concerning the sad case of Michael Jackson. I am not a particular fan of Jackson, however I do very much miss the work of Amiel in your magazine. My politics are somewhat at variance with hers, yet I am always stimulated by her writing.

Darg Bell-lrving, Vancouver


When advertising scared our readers half to death

“A PERFECT LOOKING NOSE can easily be yours,” a 1932 ad promised in Maclean’s. Today it wouldn’t be difficult to find cosmetic surgery advertisements conveying the same message. But back then the entrepreneur making the claim, one M. Trilety of Binghamton, N.Y., had no intention of putting anyone under the knife. The self-described “pioneer noseshaping specialist” stated that anyone could improve on nature “quickly, painlessly, permanently and comfortably” by strapping a harness-like contraption around one’s imperfect schnozz.

Few items advertised way back when sound as odd as Trilety’s device, but the sales pitches were no less dubious. Before advertising became a more subtle art of persuasion, its primary purpose seems to have been scaring people half to death. In the ’30s and ’40s in particular, ads bluntly stated that people who didn’t take the proper measures to combat body odour, halitosis and unruly hair would become social outcasts. The dire

first sentence from a 1930s’ ad for Forhan’s toothpaste was typical of its time: “She was a beautiful woman before her teeth went bad.” Stranger than the finger-wagging tone of these old ads are some of the product names.

In 1940, for instance, ads for Glover’s Mange Medicine ran regularly. Developed decades earlier for use on dogs, the product was by then being marketed as a dandruff shampoo for people. No wonder brand image consulting has become a growth industry. - Pamela Young

From Our Pages celebrates Maclean’s centenary


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The nose knows: an early cosmetic core